While my backside got better, AR’s knee continued to get worse. Ice and stretching did not resolve the issue and about 8:00pm we decided to call in our emergency ride home. CK arrived about 11:00 and we loaded the bikes and ourselves in the truck and headed home. The decision to head home was a difficult one for both of us, there is a mental battle that goes on. People like us don’t want to quit, we want to push on and finish what we’ve started. Neither of us wanted to let the other one down, but as the evening wore on her condition continued to get worse and the decision became easier. Someone asked me why I didn’t stay and ride the second day, that’s easy…we started together, we were going to finish together, regardless of when that was.
The event, while it didn’t go how we’d hoped, was a very positive experience. For me personally it showed some really positive improvements in my overall fitness. I have written before about my lack of swimming skills and how poorly I run, but the bike is my happy place. Having said that, last year it was a struggle for me to ride 10 miles, this was a highly depressing thing for me. Yesterday I jumped on my bike and rode 75 miles with no problems. Yes, the wind was a butt-kicker, but at no time did I think about quitting (other than for safety reasons if the storms got too severe) I have completed the event before, but I never remember it being this mentally and physically easy.
I have to give KB a great deal of credit here, she’s been kicking my ass for a few months now and clearly it’s working and for that I say “thank you”. I also have to give a big shout out to my family and friends who continue to support me on this wild and crazy journey, without you guys I would have never come this far. I still have a long way to go, but for now I’m going to celebrate this accomplishment, at least for a day or two, then it’s time to move on to another goal. My sister will get patched up and next year we’ll crush both days and maybe even do the century ride on the first day!